Wednesday, December 27, 2023

2023 Reading - UPDATED

In my original 2023 Reading post made earlier this month, I thought that I had quit reading for this year and was ready to pick it back up next year.  I found myself on Christmas break from work and I decided to get a head start on one of next year's books I planned on reading. I wound up finishing the book I selected so I am updating my 2023 Reading post.  

Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson: I have planned on reading this book for some time now and just got around to it this year.  I was really looking forward to this book because I knew it was part of Appendix N and I've always heard people say it has a great representation of a Paladin as the main character.  After reading this book, what are my thoughts? I expect some pushback on my opinion.

I gave Three Hearts and Three Lions a score of 3 stars on Goodreads. If you're not familiar with Goodreads, books can be rated on a range of 1 - 5 stars.  These ratings do not allow for partial scores such as 4.25 stars.  It's not uncommon for members to give their partial score in their written and I did that in my review.  

My actual score for Three Hearts and Three Lions was 3.25 to 3.5 stars.  I enjoyed the book and found it an easy read, but I had some issues.  I prefer fantasy works to be on the epic or grander end of the spectrum. This book definitely felt like it was more on the mundane end. I prefer reading fantasy books with much more meat on the bone from lore and backstory.  This book seemed to barely scratch the surface.  It did do a good job of representing the conflict of Law and Chaos.  I respect the fact that Three Hearts and Three Lions is a foundational work of modern fantasy, but it didn't match my personal tastes.  

Sunday, December 10, 2023

2023 Reading

I usually plan to read 12 books every year, but I failed to do so in 2023.  I didn't even come close to reaching that goal. In fact, I only read 2 books this year!  I made several attempts that turned out to be false starts that I never was able to recover from and continue on with those books for one of several reasons.  I'm not going to post about any of those failures, but I will post some thoughts on the books I did complete in 2023. 

Swan Song by Robert McCammon: I stumbled on to this book while I was browsing in one of the local bookstores.  I had never heard of the book or the author, but I decided to take a chance on this one. I did watch a few YouTube reviews before reading this book and noticed it kept getting compared to The Stand by Stephen King.  I was immediately interested as that's one of my favorite books.  I wasn't disappointed at all in my decision to read this book.  It does share many similar themes with The Stand and I think if you enjoyed one then you would enjoy the other. I think it could very well come down to you getting the most enjoyment out of whichever one you read first.  I would read it again and I will definitely read more works by McCammon in the future.  

Knight of the Demon Queen by Barbra Hambly: I decided to read this book because I enjoyed the first two books - Dragonsbane and Dragonshadow - in her Winterlands series. I remember seeing the first book on the shelf several times at my high school library.  I always intended to read it back then, but I wound up checking something else out before recalling my intentions to read Dragonsbane. One of my goals as an adult it to reading those books that caught my eye earlier in my life, but I never had gotten around to it.  I found all four books in the series at a local used bookstore in very good condition and a really reasonable price, so I bought all of them. I enjoyed the first two books quite a bit and I was looking forward to reading all of them.  The third book, Knight of the Demon Queen, started off good and was consistent with the feel and tone of the previous two books but I hit a snag later in the book. At that point, part of the story takes place in a futuristic cyberpunk setting.  It felt completely out of place to me and my reading slowed to a crawl at this point. I struggled to complete the book and I was very thankful it returned to fantasy in the final chapter.  It threw me for such a loop that I'm now re-evaluating whether or not I want to continue by reading the final book in the series.